Bridging lenders have become more confident about the long-term economic prospects for the UK, according to the latest sentiment survey from the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL).
More than 57% of respondents said they were confident about the long-term future for the UK economy, compared to just 37% of those who were surveyed in March last year.
Bridging lender confidence in their own business also remains strong but has fallen slightly since March 2018. Three quarters of those surveyed say they expect their business volumes to grow in the next six months, representing a small drop of 3% on last year.
There is, however, more caution about the outlook for the overall bridging market, with nearly 29% of respondents expecting it to shrink, compared to just under 4% last March. And lender expectations for property prices are gloomier still, with more than 70% preparing for prices to decrease in the next six months.
Overall, positivity amongst members of the ASTL is up on this time last year and is higher than it has been since April 2016, which was before the EU referendum.
Benson Hersch (pictured), CEO at the ASTL, said: “Set against an environment of so much uncertainty, the level of confidence shared by members of the ASTL is reassuring. This isn’t blind positivity as the survey reveals lenders are realistic in their expectations for house prices and the growth of the bridging market, but three quarters still expect their business volumes to grow in the next six months.
“This indicates that bridging lenders are well prepared for the environment ahead and are confident they have the right processes and personnel in place to ride out the storm and be well placed to benefit from future economic growth.”